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  • The work and sacrifices of the generations who made the first, fearful leap--who left what they knew to enter the unknown--is an oft-told story. It is indeed the basic story of immigration. When the story is about deeply spiritual, illiterate peasants who had never been outside their village area, whose way of life had been unchanged since the Middle Ages, who had a mountain people's deep distrust of the new and unknown, it becomes even more powerful.

    They were people who were unwelcomed and even reviled. They were exploited and cheated by the greed of the "robber barons" of their day. The words courage and determination somehow do not seem big enough to describe their history. Feelings of respect, honor and gratitude approach awe as we learn of the unremitting labor that went into a dream sadly unrealized in their short lifetimes--and sometimes not even in the following generation's lifetime. Whatever the hardships, they never gave up. One by one, our family members worked and persevered, until their dream became our inheritance.

    To all the immigrants who have preceded us, Memory Eternal. May we always be proud of our ancestors' courage, determination and labor; may we always bring honor to their memories.


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